The City Drive – Always Moving Never Stopping (CD)

It takes the band a minute or so to get started, but The City Drive mix together Weezer with Yellowcard on their “Defeated” to come up with the best blend of emo and pop-punk since the last Blink 182 CD. The sound of the follow-up track to “Defeated” is much more sedate and nuanced; the only thing that seems to have common ground with the prior track is the fact that the band can come up with a catchy, radio-friendly chorus with the best of them.

“Bring Me Everything” is a very odd track, in that the vocals present are close to those of Billie Joe Armstrong, but the instrumentation present on the track have an odd texture to it hat takes attention away from these vocals. This does not mean that the song is in any way bad, but it will just take individuals a little time to get used to it. Each of the songs on “Always Moving Never Stopping” are ready to make it to Mtv or any other music video channel, but there are few in the way of tracks that will rocket straight up the TRL charts quite the same way as a “Swing, Swing” has. The power chords of “Nightfalling” move beyond the pop-punk/emo blend previously mentioned and into something that has not been heard since the days of Fuel and the New Radicals (1998 or so).

Even if the track does not have quite the same catchiness to it as do the rest of the songs on “Always Moving Never Stopping”, “Overready” shows that the band has an ear for arrangements that gives the bass the face time that it deserves. The definitive beat present on the track moves the band away from the styles that they’ve previously focused on and into a bold new realm for their music that hopefully will be explored more with later albums. This is a good start for the band, but what needs to happen for the band to succeed further is more experimentation on their follow-up to “Always Moving Never Stopping”. The band can definitely do a style that has been all over the radio, but the inkling of a distinct style first comes into play during “Over and Done”. This gives me hope that the band can break out in a major way in the next few years, but one must be aware that the band still has miles to go before they can sleep.

Top Tracks: Over and Done, Defeated

Rating: 5.6/10

The City Drive – Always Moving Never Stopping / 2006 We The People Records / 12 Tracks / http://www.thecitydrivemusic.com / http://www.wethepeoplerecords.net / Reviewed 21 April 2006

[JMcQ]

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